Location: Siracusa

Day 1 - 27 Sep 2020

Le Nuvole

Siracusa, Le Nuvole

Content: We arrived in Syracuse the previous night by train from Naples. However, it’s also possible to fly to Catania and reach Syracuse by bus, train or car. It is advisable to rent a car to travel around Sicily anyway. We stayed in Le Nuvole B&B in Ortygia, the oldest neighbourhood of Syracuse. The photo shows the view from our balcony. Breakfast was included with our accommodation.

Neapolis Archaeological Park

Siracusa, Neapolis Archaeological Park

Content: We spent a full day in Syracuse and in the morning we walked to the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, which features a magnificent amphitheater dating from the 5th century BC.

A Putia

Siracusa, A Putia

Content: For lunch we walked back to Ortygia and we stopped at A Putia, where we enjoyed some delicious Sicilian food.

Island of Ortigia

Siracusa, Island of Ortigia
Siracusa, Island of Ortigia
Siracusa, Island of Ortigia
Siracusa, Island of Ortigia

Content: In the afternoon we strolled around the island of Ortygia, which is a labyrinth of narrow streets and courtyards. I recommend taking time to wander off the main path in this stunning neighbourhood. Also don’t miss the Fontana di Aretusa, Fontana di Artemide, Piazza del Duomo and Castello Maniace.

Location: Siracusa

Day 2 - 28 Sep 2020

Le Nuvole

Siracusa, Le Nuvole

Content: In the morning we had breakfast included with our accommodation and checked out.

Location: Sortino

Day 2 - 28 Sep 2020

Riserva Naturale Orientata Pantalica, Valle dell'Anapo e Torrente Cava Grande

Sortino, Riserva Naturale Orientata Pantalica, Valle dell'Anapo e Torrente Cava Grande
Sortino, Riserva Naturale Orientata Pantalica, Valle dell'Anapo e Torrente Cava Grande
Sortino, Riserva Naturale Orientata Pantalica, Valle dell'Anapo e Torrente Cava Grande
Sortino, Riserva Naturale Orientata Pantalica, Valle dell'Anapo e Torrente Cava Grande
Sortino, Riserva Naturale Orientata Pantalica, Valle dell'Anapo e Torrente Cava Grande

Content: On day 2 we picked our rental car in Syracuse and drove for about one hour to the Natural Reserve of Pantalica, a spectacular hiking area which hosts a prehistoric burial site and other ancient ruins along a canyon. We spent most of the day hiking in the area. Remember to take food and water with you, as well as a bathing suit if you want to take a dip in the Anapo river. In the afternoon we drove to the province of Agrigento, our next destination.

Location: Provincia di Agrigento

Day 2 - 28 Sep 2020

La Casa di Bacco

Provincia di Agrigento, La Casa di Bacco

Content: We stayed in a beautiful Agriturismo, namely a family-run hotel in a farm, which is a common type of accommodation in Italy. Here both breakfast and dinner were included, and we could drink their locally produced wine. They also have a swimming pool and a vineyard. We spent three nights here, as there are many things to see and do in the area.

Location: Provincia di Agrigento

Day 3 - 29 Sep 2020

La Casa di Bacco

Provincia di Agrigento, La Casa di Bacco

Content: We had breakfast at our Agriturismo and then drove to our next destination.

Location: Sciacca

Day 3 - 29 Sep 2020

The Enchanted Castle

Sciacca, The Enchanted Castle
Sciacca, The Enchanted Castle
Sciacca, The Enchanted Castle
Sciacca, The Enchanted Castle

Content: On day 3 we drove to Sciacca to visit this incredible hidden gem, the Castello Incantato (which translates as Enchanted Castle, but there’s no castle). It’s a garden filled with thousands of stone heads staring at visitors with empty eyes, the life work of a local “madman”.

Sciacca

Sciacca, Sciacca
Sciacca, Sciacca
Sciacca, Sciacca

Content: After visiting the Castello Incantato we drove to the centre of Sciacca for lunch and we spent a few hours here, wandering around its pretty and colourful streets. Afterwards we drove to a beach near Torre Salsa and spent the rest of the day there, before heading back to our accommodation (same place as the previous night).

Location: Provincia di Agrigento

Day 4 - 30 Sep 2020

La Casa di Bacco

Provincia di Agrigento, La Casa di Bacco

Content: We had breakfast at our Agriturismo and then headed to the Valley of the Temples.

Location: Province of Agrigento

Day 4 - 30 Sep 2020

Valley of the Temples

Province of Agrigento, Valley of the Temples
Province of Agrigento, Valley of the Temples
Province of Agrigento, Valley of the Temples

Content: On day 4 we drove to the Valley of the Temples, which is arguably the number 1 place to visit in Sicily. It is an archaeological area that hosts the best-preserved temples outside of Greece, dating from as far back as the 5th century BC. Allow at least a couple of hours to visit the site, and drink plenty of water as there is very little shade. There is a cafe on site for food and drinks.

Stair of the Turks

Province of Agrigento, Stair of the Turks
Province of Agrigento, Stair of the Turks
Province of Agrigento, Stair of the Turks

Content: From the Valley of the Temples we drove to the Scala dei Turchi, a white rock formation by the sea that looks like a giant staircase. We spent the rest of the day at the beach next to the Scala dei Turchi, and afterwards we drove back to the Agriturismo for dinner.

Location: Palermo

Day 5 - 1 Oct 2020

La Casa di Bacco

Palermo, La Casa di Bacco

Content: We had breakfast and then checked out.

Palermo

Palermo, Palermo

Content: On day 5 we drove to Palermo, the capital city of Sicily, where we spent the rest of our trip. Here we returned our rental car, as we didn’t need it anymore. Palermo is a city full of character and history and we loved strolling around the city.

Palazzo dei Normanni

Palermo, Palazzo dei Normanni

Content: Our first stop in Palermo was the imposing Palazzo dei Normanni, a royal palace dating from the 9th century. A tour here includes a visit to the royal apartments and the stunning Cappella Palatina.

Cattedrale di Palermo

Palermo, Cattedrale di Palermo
Palermo, Cattedrale di Palermo

Content: Next we went to the Palermo Cathedral, an intricate Arab-Norman church that looks more like a castle. Don’t miss the royal Norman tombs and the treasury.

Grano Granis Trattoria Tipica Siciliana

Palermo, Grano Granis Trattoria Tipica Siciliana

Content: We had a delicious dinner at Grano Granis, a restaurant serving traditional Sicilian food.

Hotel Joli

Palermo, Hotel Joli

Content: We stayed at the Hotel Joli, located in the city centre of Palermo and within walking distance from most attractions.

Location: Palermo

Day 6 - 2 Oct 2020

Catacombe dei Cappuccini

Palermo, Catacombe dei Cappuccini

Content: I am a big fan of the macabre, so on our second day in Palermo we went to the Capuchin Catacombs, one of the most macabre places in Europe. Thousands of corpses are displayed here in a dark basement, where the dry air had favoured natural mummification.

San Giovanni degli Eremiti

Palermo, San Giovanni degli Eremiti
Palermo, San Giovanni degli Eremiti
Palermo, San Giovanni degli Eremiti
Palermo, San Giovanni degli Eremiti

Content: After the catacombs we had a nice walk through the city and had a break at San Giovanni degli Eremiti, a peaceful garden built on the ruins of a monastery turned mosque. It is a great place to recharge among prickly pears and pomegranate trees.

Chiesa di Santa Caterina d'Alessandria

Palermo, Chiesa di Santa Caterina d'Alessandria
Palermo, Chiesa di Santa Caterina d'Alessandria
Palermo, Chiesa di Santa Caterina d'Alessandria

Content: We walked to another one of Palermo’s best kept secrets, the cloister of Saint Catherine Convent. Not only it is an amazingly beautiful, peaceful, blue-tiled cloister, it also hosts a secret pastry shop called “I segreti del Chiostro”, where they sell traditional Sicilian sweets made by the local nuns. We bought sweets at the secret pastry shop and enjoyed them here in the cloister.

Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino

Palermo, Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino
Palermo, Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino
Palermo, Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino
Palermo, Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino
Palermo, Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino
Palermo, Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino

Content: We ended the day at the International Museum of Marionettes, which displays a huge range of both Sicilian and international puppets. Marionette theatre has long been a tradition in Sicily and we also attended a puppet show at this museum.

Hotel Joli

Palermo, Hotel Joli

Content: We stayed another night at the Hotel Joli. The next morning we took a bus to the airport in Palermo and flew back home.